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山寺 仁王門  Yamadera Nio Mon Gate

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Yamadera Nio Mon (Deva Kings) Gate is part of the Yamadera temple complex in Yamagata prefecture.

Yamadera is a branch temple of Enryaku-ji on Hieizan in Kyoto and was established by the priest Jikaku in 860. The official name of Yamadera is Mount Houshu Ryūshaku-ji.

Yamadera is famous for Matsuo Bashō's haiku

Such stillness
The cries of the cicadas
Sink into the rocks

It is believed that the Jyouden Osho, or 65th monk of Ryūshaku-ji, had the Nio Mon built. The graceful gate is made of zelkova wood. Looking up to it from the slope below, it appears to float in the sky.

The gate is flanked by statues of the Deva Kings. They are reputed to be the work of Hirai Genshichiro and were made to prevent people with wicked souls from entering the temple.
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